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New park latest
development in Fairview

 

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent
 

  Bruce Holmes is excited about how the proposed new park in Fairview will fit in with other improvements in the area and make the northern end of Henry County a more attractive destination for local residents and visitors alike.

An artists rendering of the proposed new park to be built in Fairview.                                                        Special photo

  “It’s going to be something that will totally improve the community and its aesthetics, and help attract people to north Henry County to spend money,” said the District V commissioner, referring to how Bellamy Brothers Memorial Park will tie in with the expansion of Fairview Road and the new medical/retail complex planned a couple of miles away, as well as other road improvements and amenities like walking trails.

  The park, named for the family whose business occupied the property for decades, will be behind the McDonald’s restaurant and across the street from the Kroger shopping center off Fairview and Panola roads. The property has been dormant for a few years, according to Holmes.

The 22-acre complex will include lacrosse and soccer fields, volleyball courts and cookout pavilions. There will also be a water component but not what some people have been led to believe, Holmes stressed.

  “It will be a splash pad similar to what you see downtown at Centennial Olympic Park. It’s going to be an aesthetic feature but at the same time will have a surface where kids can play in it,” he said. “I heard people thought there was going to be this huge water park but we don’t want anything like that in the area.”

  Officials hope to begin work on the project in August or September and have it completed about a year from now. But this development has been on Holmes’ mind for quite some time.

  “We’ve been talking about this park ever since I got into office,” he said, adding that he spent a great deal of time educating people about it in the time leading up to the voters’ approval of SPLOST IV, which will pay for it.

  He has no plans to bond any SPLOST money, but the county is looking at other funding and loan options that could be paid back much earlier than a traditional bond. He added that looking at all possible options is especially important with regard to large-scale projects.

  “We have a lot of projects on that list that you’re not going to be able to pay for piecemeal. The ‘pay-as-you-go’ process is totally unrealistic,” he said. “This is sales tax money, and we were conservative in our growth numbers. The economy is on the upswing; assessments are up and unemployment is down. I anticipate that we’re going to raise a lot more than we’ve estimated.”

  The new park site will eventually be the location of a new police station and fire station, Holmes added. Tying in this area with the widening of Fairview Road, the medical/retail complex coming to Fairview and West Panola, and other improvements will make the entire area shine, he believes.

  “Hopefully all of this will help us maintain the businesses that have stayed and attract new businesses to the area,” he said. “Residents in this area currently go to DeKalb, Clayton and everywhere else to spend money. We’re creating an environment where they can keep that money right here in Henry County. This investment will bring millions of dollars into the county.”

  Holmes said that all of these plans will work in concert with those of Clayton County officials, who are widening Anvil Block Road from I-675 to the county line. He is looking forward to seeing Clayton’s road improvements meet Henry’s in the Fairview area for a seamless and convenient transition.

  The new park is a key component of the larger overall plan.

“It’s going to be just as much as beauty feature bringing green space to the community as a park,” he said. “It’s going to be absolutely beautiful.”

 

 

©Henry County Times, Inc.